On October 12, 2012, a former Indiana surgeon was sentenced by a federal judge to seven years in federal prison, twice the amount of time recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, as a result of his conviction for billing patients and their insurance companies for procedures that he had not performed. The former surgeon had pleaded guilty to 22 counts of health care fraud in July, 2012, pursuant to a plea deal that capped his sentence at no more than 10 years in prison.
The former surgeon’s attorney had originally requested that his client be sentenced to the time he had already served while waiting for his sentencing, but changed his request during the October 12, 2012 sentencing hearing to four years in federal prison, supporting his request by stating that the former surgeon had been a model prisoner while awaiting sentencing and that he had tutored other inmates studying for their GEDs. The federal judge was also told by the former surgeon’s attorney that he volunteered as a cook, started a yoga program, and ran an anger management program while incarcerated.
The federal judge who sentenced the former surgeon on October 12, 2012 had previously rejected a prior plea deal in April, 2011 because the federal judge believed that the agreed-upon sentence of four years as provided by the plea agreement was insufficient punishment for the crimes committed and the effects of the crimes on so many victims. The federal judge also refused to sentence the former surgeon to the three to four years prison sentence as determined under the federal sentencing guidelines because of the extent and effects of the surgeon’s wrongdoings that caused havoc among his patients, employees, and others. The former surgeon also had multiple medical malpractice judgments against him, including one in which his patient had advanced throat cancer that the surgeon failed to diagnose and that resulted in the patient’s death.
The former surgeon, who had earned in excess of $30 million in the three years before he fled during a vacation in Greece, was found in December 2009 on a mountainside in Italy after being on the run for five years.
A local Indiana attorney who represents 288 former patients of the former surgeon noted that of the 90 medical malpractice cases against the former surgeon that he has submitted on behalf of his clients to Indiana medical review panels, there is no evidence that the former surgeon performed any of the procedures for which he submitted bills.
And an insurance company that made payments to the former surgeon claimed that it had identified 56 patients who may have been subjected to fraudulent billings.
If you may be the victim of medical malpractice in Indiana or in another state in the United States, you should promptly obtain the advice from an Indiana medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may be willing to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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